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- 2014 - February - 25th -
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$5.5 million road project en route to Regency

By Karen Brune Mathis, Managing Editor

While there’s no timeframe for work to start, the Florida Department of Transportation is making plans to improve the intersection of Atlantic Boulevard and Arlington Expressway, which fronts Regency Square Mall.

The Atlantic Boulevard and Arlington Expressway intersection “will be re-configured to be more efficient and less confusing to the traveling public,” said department spokeswoman Gina Busscher for District 2.

A public hearing is planned for the summer. The project will be opened for bids in June 2015. There’s no date for the start of construction, but once begun, it should not take more than 18 months.

Busscher said a project generally starts about three or four months after the bids are opened, but this construction may be delayed until early 2016 to avoid starting in the middle of the holiday shopping season.

Classified as an intersection improvement, the $5.5 million project is a 0.67-mile stretch from west of the expressway intersection to east of Atlantic Boulevard and Monument Road. The mall is at the northwest corner of that intersection.

Atlantic Boulevard runs from the Beaches west to Regency, where it splits at the Arlington Expressway in front of Regency Square and heads toward San Marco.

The Arlington Expressway runs 3.5 miles from the Mathews Bridge east to Regency, where it ends at Atlantic Boulevard.

Busscher said right of way needs to be purchased and a retention pond adjusted.

James Bennett, District 2 urban transportation development manager, said the project had been included in The Better Jacksonville Plan, but funding shortfalls reduced the number of projects that could be completed.

He said the Jacksonville Transportation Authority asked the department to consider taking over the unfunded projects and that the Regency intersection is one of four projects originally identified in the Better Jacksonville Plan that will be handled by the Florida Department of Transportation.

“This qualified and met the requirements to be funded through the safety program,” Bennett said in an email.

Voters approved the Better Jacksonville Plan on Sept. 5, 2000. It is a $2.25 billion plan funded through a half-penny sales tax to provide road and infrastructure improvements, environmental preservation, targeted economic development, and new and improved public facilities.

The city says that it, JEA and the JTA have invested nearly $2 billion into improvements. Funding challenges led to changes in the list of road improvements.

Dollar General rising on Atlantic Boulevard

A Dollar General store was approved for construction at 6830 Atlantic Blvd., where an unfinished strip center was demolished. Concept Construction of North Florida will build the 9,100-square-foot store at a cost of $350,000.

Concept Development is the developer of at least 18 area Dollar General stores and is seeking approvals for several more.

The Learning Experience to build at Flagler

The Learning Experience child-development center is in review for construction at 12550 Flagler Center Blvd. at Old St. Augustine Road. No contractor is listed for the estimated $975,000 project.

The 10,000-square-foot center is planned on about 1 acre and plans show space for 170 children.

The Boca Raton-based company has indicated previously it wants to open at least seven centers in Jacksonville.

One is open at 8411 Southside Blvd. and four are “coming soon” at 11945 San Jose Blvd., 14770 Old St. Augustine Road, Oakleaf Village Parkway and in River City Marketplace.

The Flagler Center location is the sixth.

Growing Room OK’d near Mayo Clinic

The city approved the construction for the Growing Room Child Development Center at 14146 Marsh Woods Court near Mayo Clinic Florida. Parrish Builders Inc. is the contractor for the 14,632-square-foot project at a cost of $1.8 million.

As reported last week, owners of the Growing Room Child Development Centers in Jacksonville bought the 2-acre site for $547,148 and SmartBank of Destin issued two mortgages totaling $3.29 million.

The first Jacksonville Growing Room opened in June in Bartram Park.

Fix-it company seeks local franchisee

1800Fix.com is looking for a franchise owner to open three to five locations in the next three years in Jacksonville.

The company specializes in electronic repairs and accessory sales. The stores repair, buy, sell and trade.

Nick Rizzi, president of the New York-based company, said last week that the franchise fee is $20,000 and the total investment in a store, including the fee, build-out, inventory and other requirements, is about $75,000.

Rizzi said the stores offer cellphone sales with prepaid plans and also offer to buy electronics. “In addition, any consumer electronics, we can fix,” he said, listing laptops, iPads, game systems and other devices.

The stores are 800 to 1,200 square feet in space, but some are smaller, such as kiosks, and some are larger.

Typical locations need three employees — a technical worker and two counter associates. Operating hours generally are 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday and reduced hours on Sunday, although hours depend on the franchisee, he said.

1800Fix.com is based in the Bronx, N.Y. Rizzi said 11 stores are open and one in Orlando should open soon. The stores primarily are in New York City and its suburbs.

Southpoint property sells for $2M

The Capital Markets Group of Cushman & Wakefield of Florida Inc. announced it has completed the sale of 6611 Southpoint Parkway, a two-story, 200,000-square-foot office-warehouse on 13.94 acres within the Southpoint Business Park.

CRM Properties LLC sold the property to Acorn Parkway LLC, a David Gonzales partnership, for $2 million.

Karl Johnston, senior director of Cushman & Wakefield’s Capital Markets Group, and Logan Holz, senior director, handled the transaction for CRM Properties, a Georgia limited liability company.

Developed in 1986 as a Prudential Records Storage Facility, the building was later converted for office and storage use. The property is in the northeast quadrant of Interstate 95 and Butler Boulevard.

Synovus Bank issued a $1.5 million mortgage to Acorn Parkway LLC.

Gate moving ahead with Bayard plans

Gate Petroleum Co., which bought more than 37 acres in November along Philips Highway, applied with the St. Johns River Water Management District and the city for the “Bayard Retail Center.”

The property has several sites for development that total 11.88 aces, plans show.

Gate intends to build a convenience store on 4.07 acres. The 6,620-square-foot store will include 24 fueling positions, four alternative fueling positions and a 1,421-square-foot car wash.

Four other sites – between 1.38 and 2.61 acres – will be available for sale.

The Prosser firm is the agent.

As the Daily Record reported Nov. 25, Jacksonville-based Gate ate Petroleum Co. completed the land purchase from the Diocese of St. Augustine for $2.7 million. Gate contracted to buy the undeveloped property, which is east along Philips Highway in the Bayard area south of the Florida 9B interchange and south of Gran Bay Parkway.

Gate has been adding stores. It recently landed approvals to build at 11350 Baymeadows Road. It also has two under construction near St. Johns Town Center and along Emerson Street and another planned along International Golf Parkway in St. Johns County.

GNC LiveWell plans Pablo Creek Plaza store

GNC LiveWell plans to build-out a 1,304-square-foot store in Pablo Creek Plaza East at 13740 Beach Blvd. Biltmor Inc. is the contractor for the $36,000 tenant-improvement job. The plaza is at Beach and Hodges boulevards.

West Marine renovating at Roosevelt Square

West Marine plans to renovate its Roosevelt Square store. A pending building permit shows the almost 8,300-square-foot retail store will have replacement flooring and changes to interior lights and other areas. It’s shown as a $50,000 job.

kmathis@baileypub.com

@MathisKb

(904) 356-2466

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